Heading off scalp problems

September 15, 2010

Annoying hair and scalp problems distress many families. Manufacturers offer a number of over-the-counter products that can help.

Key Points

Annoying hair and scalp problems distress many families. Dandruff, for example, afflicts an estimated 15% to 20% of the population. "Although dandruff isn't contagious and is rarely serious, it can be embarrassing and sometimes difficult to treat," the Mayo Clinic says.

To help men fight this pesky scalp dermatitis, Unilever has added Itch Relief 2 in 1 Cooling Anti-Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner to its AXE Hair line. The new product uses menthol to cool dry, itchy scalps and zinc as the anti-dandruff agent.

Crawling head lice present another common problem, appearing on the heads, eyebrows, and eyelashes of an estimated 6 million to 12 million American children, ages 3 to 11, each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Neither a health hazard nor a sign of poor hygiene, head lice are a nuisance, according to an updated clinical guidance report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in July.

Tec Labs' Licefreee! Non-Toxic Lice Killing Hair Gel has gotten a facelift. "Previous packaging was darker and had a very small graphic that did little to highlight the great comb we put inside," said company spokesman Gary Burris.

In June, Lornamead launched Lice Shield, a hair-care line that helps repel lice while cleansing and conditioning the hair. Formulated with a blend of essential oils, Lice Shield Shampoo & Conditioner in 1 is gentle enough to be used by children daily. Lice Shield Leave-In Spray can be used on wet or dry hair, as well as on hats, helmets, and winter gear.

Hyland's Inc. has taken on North American distribution of Quit Nits, the lice treatment line of Wild Child, a natural healthcare products company in Western Australia.

Health Enterprises has repackaged its 2 leading lice-removal products. The package for Lice Cure, the All-Natural Lice and Egg Removal System, now highlights its all-natural formula. Lice Cure includes a metal comb and a cap that keeps the solution on hair and away from little hands. The 2-in-1 Lice Removal Comb package has been redesigned to occupy 50% less shelf space. The "100% effective" comb has a long handle with a built-in magnifier, interchangeable long- and short-pin combs for all hair types, and a brush and tweezers for easy cleaning of the pins. Health Enterprises has also obtained worldwide distribution rights for Neon Nits lice egg identification spray. The patented formulation turns the eggs "bright white" to help parents save time in finding and removing eggs.

Dana K. Cassell, a frequent contributor to Drug Topics, lives in North Stratford, N.H.